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Having a cold sore, canker sore or other type of oral lesion can be an incredibly painful experience that interferes significantly with your daily routine. Many of the old-fashioned treatment methods such as home remedies, medications, chemicals or topical products are either ineffective or uncomfortable (and sometimes both). Luckily, advancements in laser technology make oral lesions treatment fast, easy and comfortable, allowing you to get back into your daily routine as quickly as possible.
The benefit of laser therapy is that it allows the problem to be treated at its source. It is also faster acting and more convenient than other forms of treatment. Konikoff Dental Associates Little Neck is happy to report that we utilize the latest in advanced laser therapy with Biolase®. To discover more about the types of oral lesions and how they are treated with laser therapy, continue reading this helpful guide.
What Are the Different Kinds of Oral Lesions?
The causes and types of oral lesions vary widely. Most of the time, an oral lesion is diagnosed as something quite common and harmless. However, there are types of lesions that can be cause for some concern. The various types of oral lesions and their characteristics are detailed below.
Known in the medical community as an aphthous ulcer, a canker sore is an extremely common type of lesion that can be rather painful. Despite the pain, this type of lesion is harmless and will usually clear up within two weeks. They form on oral soft tissues, as well as on the base of the gums. Inform a dentist if you have a canker sore that hasn’t gone away in two weeks.
Cold sores are also known as fever blisters. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus, which is a common viral infection. Some people are more prone to severe cold sore outbreaks than others. Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that appear on or near your lips. They usually heal within a period of two to three weeks.
These appear as bright red birthmarks that are somewhat rubbery and are comprised of extra blood vessels. Hemangiomas are non-cancerous lesions that can be anywhere on the body. In rare cases, they form in the oral cavity.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. This virus causes healthy cells to transform into abnormal ones. HPV lesions are considered to be precancerous and should be removed as soon as possible. Symptoms of an oral HPV lesion include a sore throat, an earache, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing and more.
The Benefits of Using Laser Therapy to Treat Oral Lesions
Laser dentistry treatment has a number of advantages for patients that alternative methods of treatment don’t have. Benefits of this kind of treatment include:
- The preservation of healthy tissue due to a more precise method of treatment.
- The use of less anesthesia.
- The gum tissue is less likely to suffer from trauma.
- The procedure is virtually pain and discomfort free.
- The treatment is faster than alternative methods.
- The mouth is healed faster, and recovery times are shorter.
- The need for prescription medications is reduced.
How Oral Lesions Are Diagnosed
Before you can receive oral lesions treatment, your dentist needs to know exactly what type of lesion you have. To get an accurate diagnosis, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth for any signs of abnormalities. X-rays and clinical photographs may be taken in order to accurately diagnose your lesion.
Cold and canker sores are relatively simple to diagnose. If your dentist finds any signs of abnormalities, he or she will most likely perform a biopsy of the soft tissue. This procedure consists of the doctor taking a small portion of the impacted area and sending it off to a pathology lab. Biopsies are usually done at the same time as laser therapy.
The Treatment Process for an Oral Lesion
When it comes time to receive your laser dentistry treatment, your dentist will numb the area with an anesthetic. He or she will then use an advanced laser that is programmed to preserve healthy oral tissues. The lesion will be removed and the area surrounding the lesion will automatically be cauterized. Most patients experience instant pain relief. They also find that they heal quickly.
Treating Viral Lesions with Laser Dentistry: A Case Study
Before laser dentistry for oral lesions was a relatively common procedure, lesions of a viral nature were treated with medications. A case study showcased in Dentistry Today shows just how effective this method of treatment can be for viral lesions.
When a 32-year-old male arrived at his dentist’s office, he reported that he was experiencing significant pain in his upper dental arch. This pain interfered with daily activities. When the dentist examined the patient, it was discovered that the patient was suffering from a herpes simplex virus (HSV) outbreak.
After the diagnosis was rendered, the dentist treated the patient via laser therapy. The Epic X diode laser produced by Biolase was utilized for treatment. While the patient was undergoing treatment, he reported that he felt no pain or burning. The only sensation he felt during the procedure was warmth. Once the laser therapy treatment was completed, the dentist asked the patient to come back on the following day.
Upon returning to the office, the patient reported that his discomfort and pain was gone. He had been able to resume all of his normal daily activities. When the dentist looked at the patient’s lesions, it was found that the lesions were less inflamed and had healed a great deal.
Contact Konikoff Dental Associates Little Neck to Learn More
To find out for yourself how laser therapy can assist you in healing your oral lesion, contact Konikoff Dental Associates Little Neck to book an appointment at one of our locations in the Virginia Beach area. You can schedule your appointment by calling us or by using our convenient online booking system.